With the polls closing between Labour and the Tories, a lot of people are beginning to question the wisdom of May calling the general election in the first place. From the projected ‘landslide victory’, when May made the announcement, to the current level pegging in the polls, the talk has shifted to the election having weakened May’s position as leader and the likelihood that she will face a leadership challenge, win or lose. In the face of all the evidence, I have begun to accept that May called the election BECAUSE she was facing an imminent leadership challenge. Her campaign was all about May and her strength and stability as leader. It might have appeared as if she was seeking a personal mandate from the public to lead the ‘brexit’ negotiations but I do not believe that it was the public she was talking to. The dissent that May referred to when she spoke of opposition to her ‘brexit’ was not the opposition from the Opposition Parties but from within her own party.
In 2016, Theresa May won the Tory leadership unopposed after her contender was scared off by a brief but brutal campaign by the media. May was never a popular choice as leader but, in Tory tradition, the opposition to her was kept away from public gaze but it never ceased. Theresa May was considered a terrible Home Secretary and it is clear from her terrible election campaign that confidence that she is remotely the correct person to lead Britain’s ‘brexit’ negotiation does not exist within the Tory party. As the negotiating deadline loomed it is obvious that May’s team learned of or sensed that a leadership challenge was imminent and saw favorable polling as the answer to stave off rising calls within her party that she was not fit for the job.
May called the election in the belief that she would win an easy increased majority with which to bolster her position as Tory leader. Just as David Cameron promised an EU Referendum to shore up Tory votes in 2015, never believing he would have to deliver on the promise or the prospect of a Leave victory. Just as Boorish Johnson treated adopting the Leave campaign during the EU Referendum as a means of fighting a proxy battle for the Tory leadership, while never believing Leave would actually win. Theresa May called the 2017 general election to shore up her position as leader of the Tory party, never considering that British voters might object to her party’s record in government, a record that includes the devastating cuts to the Police that have contributed to their lessened capability to monitor the terror suspects who committed both the Manchester and London Bridge attacks.
Three times since 2015 Tory arrogance in government has taken British voters for granted, each time gambling Britain’s financial security and our physical safety. Theresa May began her campaign with a clear objective of conning the British public into giving her a personal mandate to protect her from internal Tory party challengers but the campaign has descended into an approximation of the shameful abominable ‘dog whistle’ Crosby Goldsmith London Mayoral campaign.
I hope the British public call May’s bluff and this third insult sees the Tories cast out of government.